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Bar Company: the sustainable caterer committed to environmental and social impact

The Bar Company, a premier coffee and cocktail caterer in the Netherlands, has been a pioneer in corporate social responsibility since 2015. Recognising the urgent need for sustainable practices in the event catering industry, the Bar Company has implemented comprehensive strategies to minimise its environmental footprint. This case study explores the Bar Company’s rigorous approach to carbon compensation, its innovative use of circular economy principles, and its commitment to sourcing ethical and sustainable ingredients.

260424_Bar-CompanyVisual-1Cookstoves piling up, ready to be delivered, at the DGB factory.

One of the standout elements of the Bar Company’s sustainability strategy is its investment in DGB Group’s Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project in Kenya. This initiative, focused on producing and distributing energy-efficient cooking stoves in Kenya, is a key method through which the Bar Company compensates for its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. The project not only significantly reduces CO2 emissions but also has a profound impact on the local community’s health and local habitat preservation. By improving air quality, reducing deforestation, and enhancing local livelihoods through job creation, the cookstoves project represents a holistic approach to environmental and social responsibility.

Interview with the Bar Company’s co-owner, Tim Wildenbeest

Q: Can you tell us more about the Bar Company and why sustainability is important to your company?

A: The Bar Company is the leading coffee and cocktail caterer for events in the Netherlands, specialising in providing bar-related services and products for events and parties. Sustainability is crucial for us. We are here for the long run and want to ensure our children don’t have to pay the environmental price of our activities and productions.

260424_Bar-CompanyVisual-2The Bar Company’s mixologists preparing drinks at an event in the Netherlands.

Q: What sustainability targets have you set?

A: We aim to fully compensate for our CO2 emissions, ensure our products, such as smoothies and cocktails, are predominantly vegan, and use only sustainably harvested, certified, and traceable coffee beans. We also strive to work circularly where possible, contributing to a circular economy.

Q: How are you working towards achieving these sustainability targets?

A: We are actively investing in the Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project through DGB to compensate for our CO2 emissions. We've replaced honey with agave syrup and primarily use plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk. We only use cow’s milk on a customer’s request. For our coffee catering, we roast our own blend. Our coffee is not only sustainably sourced but also traceable right back to the farmers via QR codes and blockchain technology. Additionally, our coffee grounds are reused by De Versfabriek for growing oyster mushrooms and our beverage bottles are reused at RageRoom Smash It before recycling. We have also invested in using electric vehicles and charging stations. Furthermore, we make use of renewable energy and have installed 300 solar panels.

Q: Why focus on compensating for your Scope 1 and 2 emissions?

A: Our work involves frequent travel to different event locations every day, therefore, our CO2 emissions are unavoidable. That is why we have devised a sustainability strategy to compensate for these emissions and mitigate our environmental impact regardless of the event location.

Q: Can you share why you collaborated with DGB Group and why you chose the Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project?

A: We chose to collaborate with DGB because its Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project offers an innovative approach to CO2 compensation that aligns with our desire to support less conventional but highly effective environmental initiatives. With the robust project verification, we can therefore be assured of its impact. This project not only mitigates CO2 but also significantly benefits the local communities involved. 

Read more: DGB’s Kenya cookstove project: kicking off 2024 with sustainable impact

Q: What does this commitment to sustainability mean for the Bar Company?

A: Our commitment to sustainability ensures that our operations do not adversely affect the environment. It enables our customers to enjoy our products, knowing they are choosing a caterer who prioritises ecological responsibility and sustainability.

260424_Bar-CompanyVisual-3Local people and DGB team members during cookstove distribution. Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project, DGB.

The Bar Company has demonstrated the significant benefits of adopting nature-based solutions for carbon compensation. Their collaboration with DGB on the Hongera Energy Efficient Cookstoves Project not only compensates for their CO2 emissions but also supports meaningful social and environmental improvements. This approach provides a replicable model for other companies seeking to address their environmental impact while contributing positively to global sustainability efforts.

By partnering with organisations like DGB, businesses can access innovative strategies that not only meet their sustainability targets but also foster broader ecological and community benefits. Together, we can build a more sustainable future by turning unavoidable emissions into opportunities for positive change.

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